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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 23, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Lower Columbia River reopens for hatchery spring chinook fishing

Spring chinook anglers will get another chance to wet a line in the Lower Columbia River which reopens for hatchery-marked chinook and steelhead this Saturday and Sunday (May 26-27).

“There is still a decent chance to catch a spring chinook in the lower river despite the water level being a little up so folks should concentrate their fishing in the more shallow water areas,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

Fishing will be allowed from Buoy 10 to Beacon Rock for boat and bank fishing, and from Beacon Rock to the deadline at Bonneville Dam for bank angling only.

The daily limit is two adult hatchery spring chinook or steelhead, but only one may be a chinook. Sockeye may also be kept as part of the two fish daily limit.

Fisheries managers upgraded the in-season run size to 216,500 upriver spring chinook with about 1,402 left in the sport allocation.

The spring chinook count at Bonneville Dam was 2,503 on Sunday, 1,987 on Monday, and 1,097 on Tuesday bringing the total to 145,174.

The summer chinook season on the Lower Columbia opens June 16.

Hymer says depending on the spring chinook catches and run size, fisheries managers decide to open up the summer chinook fishery by early June.

Fisheries managers will meet on May 29 to update run forecasts and see if more fishing can be added.

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